Some call for stadium name change due to FirstEnergy’s alleged ties to Householder’s bribery scheme

The Cleveland Browns will start the 2018 regular season at FirstEnergy Stadium this Sunday as...
The Cleveland Browns will start the 2018 regular season at FirstEnergy Stadium this Sunday as the team hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Source Cleveland 19 Viewer)
Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 9:22 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Several social media users are calling for a name change at Cleveland’s football stadium because of the connections FirstEnergy Corp. allegedly has with Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s $60 million bribery investigation.

FirstEnergy Corp. wasn’t directly named in the criminal complaint released on Tuesday after the arrests of Householder and four of his associates, but U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers said it wasn’t difficult to connect the energy company to the conspiracy because of it’s sole benefit from the $1.5 billion nuclear bailout initiative, House Bill 6.

In exchange for getting the bailout passed by Ohio voters, approximately $60 million in “dark money” was funneled to Householder’s control between March 2017 and March 2020, according to DeVillers, of the Southern District of Ohio.

Because of the alleged ties “Company A,” presumably FirstEnergy Corp., some are requesting a name change for the home of the Cleveland Browns: FirstEnergy Stadium.

According to DeVillers, at the time of the press conference on Tuesday where he announced charges against Householder and the other defendants, nobody at FirstEnergy Corp. was criminal charged.

This afternoon, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) received subpoenas in connection with the investigation surrounding Ohio House Bill 6. We are reviewing the details of the investigation and we intend to fully cooperate.

DeVillers added that more arrests are possible in the future because investigators can now interview and question more individuals about the case now that it is no longer a covert operation.

FirstEnergy Corp. purchased the naming rights of Cleveland Browns Stadium in 2013 as part of a 17-year deal.

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